23XI Racing announced key competition hires on Tuesday morning, including naming Billy Scott as the crew chief of Kurt Busch’s No. 45 team.
Scott joins the organization, which expanded to two cars with Busch and Darrell Wallace Jr., after most recently serving as the head of race engineering for Richard Childress Racing. He reunites with Busch after the duo worked together in 2018 at Stewart-Haas Racing. A NASCAR Cup Series crew chief since 2014, Scott has one win (with Busch at Bristol ’18) in 214 starts.
“The chemistry Billy and I had together a few years back at SHR was strong,” said Busch. “We raced smart and built solid consistency with each other. That showed with the results and the fun the team had together. Winning races is what it’s all about, and our past experiences will help build the future at 23XI.”
David Bryant joins 23XI from the now-defunct Chip Ganassi Racing to serve as Busch’s car chief. Julian Pena, a current 23XI employee, will transition to the No. 45 team as Busch’s race engineer.
Bootie Barker will remain paired with Wallace in 2022. Barker took over as Wallace’s crew chief in September at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the team won at Talladega Superspeedway a month later. It was the first career win for Wallace and the organization.
“Bootie and I clicked from the start,” said Wallace. “He’s been a great addition to the No. 23 team, and in just the short time he’s been the crew chief, he’s helped me on and off the track to be better every time I get in the car. To get the win together at Talladega, the first win for both of us, was really special. I’m excited to continue to build this team with Bootie and to see what we can accomplish together next season. I’m pumped to get the year started at the L.A. Coliseum and then head to Daytona for the Daytona 500.”
Etienne Cliche will remain the team’s race engineer, while Zach Marquardt joins 23XI Racing from Roush Fenway Racing to be Wallace’s car chief.
Other 23XI Racing hires include Mike Lorusso joining the organization from Joe Gibbs Racing to serve as director or race team operation. Dave Rogers also joins from Gibbs to be the performance advisor, and Steve Wolf joins the organization from Ganassi to be the assembly manager.
“As we grow and move into our second year, it is important for us to continue building our competition team and hiring the right people to take us to the next level,” said 23XI Racing president Steve Lauletta.
“With Kurt coming on board to join Bubba, new partners joining us, and now hiring some of the best in the business, all of the pieces are falling into place, and it makes all of us excited to get to the track and continue building on our first year.”